Rica rica prawns

This spicy prawn dish is one for the chilli lovers! An aromatic, fiery paste flavours the prawns, which are stir-fried with tomatoes to make a sauce. Serve with yellow coconut rice and a pineapple relish.

This recipe is taken from The Nutmeg Trail by Eleanor Ford (£26, Murdoch Books).

First published in 2022
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Eleanor says: 'One of the chilli hotspots of the world is Northern Sulawesi. Here fragrant lime leaves, lemon basil and extreme use of chilli typify the food, for heat that hits you with shouts, not whispers. Spice pastes are often used in one-to-one ratio with the quantity of meat or seafood. Rica rica is the signature cooking style, the ‘c’ pronounced ‘ch’ as in ‘chilli’, which is also what the word means. Stoke the fire to your taste, by all means scaling up the bird’s eyes. These are for heat; the seeded larger chillies are there for flavour.'

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Spice paste

Method

1

Roughly chop the aromatics for the spice paste and blitz all the ingredients together in a blender to a rough paste

2

Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok and scrape in the spice paste. Fry on a medium heat, stirring often, until it is sweetly fragrant and the harsh, raw edge has gone. Stir in the tomato, spring onion, lime leaves and sugar and cook so the tomato starts to break down to a sauce

3

Add the prawns and simmer for about 5 minutes, until they lose their glassiness and are just cooked through and pink. Spritz in some lime juice and taste to see if any of the flavours need balancing – add more lime to brighten, or sugar and salt as needed. Serve at once

First published in 2022
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Eleanor Ford is an award-winning author writing about food and travel.

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